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More funding for safety paths

October 02, 2013 - Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle said no tax increase are in the cards for residents. Instead, the township is rearranging millages.

"There was a chance for tax increase," said Kittle. "However, I hate taxes. We need them but I did not want to raise taxes.

The plan is to drop fire funding and increase funding for local safety paths.

"We not cutting any services, equipment or training," said Kittle. "We're able to lower the fire millage because the deputy chief left the department, and his total compensation was $125,000."

The fire millage be lowered to .35 or a tenth of a point , and the safety path millage will be increased by a tenth, which will mean an additional $130,000 a year increase to safety path funding.

Money collected under the safety path mileage, $125,000-$140,000, was just enough for routine maintenance to existing paths in the community, Kittle said.

Maintenance includes fixing cracks and mowing, as well as staff.

New paths planned for the area include along Clintonville Road between Waldon and Maybee, and Andersonville Road. Extending a safety path to connect north and south entrances of Independence Oaks will cost the township $300,000, with additional funding by a government grant.

"I don't want to increase taxes so we met with team leaders and asked how we could offset costs instead of raising taxes," Kittle said. "We can't just change mileages without a public hearing. We can only work within mileages approved by the public unless we seek voter approval."

If rearranging the mileages was not done, officials would have had to ask voters for more money to fund the safety paths.

Kittle said safety paths are important for neighborhoods need to connect to local businesses and recreational facilities.

"We need to do it faster," he said.

A truth-in-taxation special meeting and public hearing was Sept. 30.

Staff writer
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